What Are Meibomian (Oil) Glands?
Meibomian glands are the tiny oil glands that line the margin of the eyelids (the edges which touch when the eyelids are closed). These glands secrete oil which coats the surface of our eyes and keeps the water component of our tears from evaporating (drying out). Together, the water and the oil layer make up the tear film.
In addition to lubricating our eyes, the tear film affects how we see. Symptoms of irritation and/or blurred vision may occur if either the oil or water layer is reduced or is of poor quality.
What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) refers to the condition where the glands are not secreting enough oil or when the oil they secrete is of poor quality. During the early stages, patients are often asymptomatic but if left untreated, MGD can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms and eyelid inflammation. The oil glands become blocked with thickened secretions. Chronically clogged glands eventually become unable to secrete oil which results in permanent changes in the tear film, symptoms of eye irritation, and inflammation. Bottom line: MGD is the most common cause of dry eye syndrome.
What causes Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
The condition can be caused or exacerbated by a number of factors. The environment is one, especially if the air is smoky or the air is dry. Contact lenses can also dry out your eyes as can some medications. In some cases, hormonal imbalances may be the cause.
What can you do about Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
You can start by getting diagnosed by a doctor, home remedies such as compresses may be an option, and medical treatment such as eye drops may also be effective.
Handling MGD requires on-going, consistent, and daily treatment which is not in line with most people’s busy schedule. Luckily, there’s an alternative.
New & ground-breaking solution for DED due to MGD
OptiLight is a revolutionary treatment for managing dry eyes that uses precise pulses of light to reduce the inflammation that is typically associated with dry eye disease. It eliminates blood vessels that contribute to inflammation, and reduces the amount of Demodex mites and bacteria living around your eyes. It improves tear break-up time, and increases meibomian gland functionality.
The benefit to the busy person is that it does all this in a treatment regimen of just 4 sessions that take between 5 and 10 minutes each. This means that they do not need to remember to apply eye drops and compresses to their eyes on a regular basis. A great relief to those who have a busy life and do not wish to self-manage their eyes whilst trying to achieve so many other things.
The way forward is personal
The way that you choose to manage MGD will be personal to you. You should of course involve a dry eye professional in the decision making process. Some people might be happy continuing the regime of daily eye drops and compresses and they may alleviate enough of the discomfort. Others might choose to find a more effective, less time consuming and longer term solution such as OptiLight by Lumenis. Get started by contacting a dry eye specialist near you.